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2001 Corvette: Code 3 C5

This LAPD Wants You to Go Fast Plus: What Do YouThink of This Car? Vote Now!

Drew Hardin Sep 1, 2002

Step By Step

For those of you not in law enforcement, or who haven’t spent as much time watching Adam-12 and Cops as we have, “Code 3” is police jargon for driving with lights on and siren blaring. In that mode, you want people to notice you and get out of your way, because you’re hauling butt to your next call.

Unless you’re driving a black-and-white with the flashers on, getting noticed in car-crazy Los Angeles can be tough. Weird, wonderful, strange, and exotic cars of every stripe cruise our streets and highways 24/7, so if you want to be seen, you have to make a big, bold statement.

Which is exactly what the guys at the LAPD had in mind when they built this ’01 Millennium Yellow coupe. The LAPD we’re referring to here has nothing to do with the local police department. It stands for Los Angeles Performance Division, a shop that specializes in C4s and C5s (as well as the Impala SS). Their Corvette is sort of a rolling business card, built to show off just what the company is capable of doing with various aftermarket performance and appearance enhancements. There’s a lot going on inside and outside this Z06 look-alike. “Do you think we did too much?” LAPD’s Shawn Massoudi asked us. We’ll let you be the judge of that.

Body modifications were limited to the Z06 front screens and rear-brake scoops. What’s far more striking is the contrast between the bright yellow paint and the black powdercoated Mallett 396 one-piece, split-spoke wheels. The 18x9.5-inch front wheels wear 265/35ZR-18 Michelin Pilot Sports, while the 18x11s in back are shod with 295/35ZR-18 Pilots. The C5’s suspension was lowered slightly, to bring the body down over the big tires, and the stock shocks and sway bars were swapped for Bilsteins and Hotchkis bars to tighten up the car’s ride.

Visible through the Mallett wheel spokes is a set of Baer Racing EradiSpeed brake rotors, a product that has just been introduced for the C5. Not an entire brake kit, these are cross-drilled and slotted aluminum rotors, in OE diameters, that are designed to work with the factory calipers. They improve heat absorption and offer faster thermal recovery than standard iron rotors, to reduce brake fade. And while they are built with greater mass along the pad’s contact area to improve durability, they are still lighter than the OE rotors by about 15 pounds for the set of four. The OE calipers were fitted with Hawk Performance HPS brake pads; and to further dress up the brakes, LAPD powdercoated the stock calipers in Z06 red and plumbed Earl’s stainless steel braided lines front and rear.

Also new in the LAPD line are the export-style, clear, rear side marker lights and the clear backup-light assembly panels. The Euro lighting theme has been carried throughout the car, as the taillights are the red/clear export style, and the headlights feature export glass lenses with a Phillips high-intensity- discharge bulb system inside them. While they’re hard to see, there’s a pair of PIAA fog lamps mounted behind the Z06 nose screens.

Open the hood, and you’re greeted with what is probably the most outrageous appearance mod on the car: The fuel-rail covers have been painted yellow and accented with airbrushed red flames and a burning “LAPD” logo. Some of the more functional engine upgrades include a Halltech Z06 TRIC MAG intake system, ported throttle body, and bypass kit; MSD 8.5mm spark-plug wires and SplitFire spark plugs; and TTS ceramic-coated long-tube headers leading to a Corsa X-pipe and exhaust system with Corsa Pro Series tips. Shawn figures the setup is good for 420 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.

Also easy to spot under the hood is an Optima Yellow deep-cycle battery with Monster cables attached to it, a tip-off that there are some serious electronics lurking within the C5’s flanks. Lift the back glass, and you’ll find a Kicker Solo Baric 12 L7 square subwoofer, two Precision Power amps, and a Lightning Audio capacitor. In the passenger compartment are sets of Boston Acoustic Pro 6.5-inch speakers with tweeters and 5.25-inch Coaxial RX 57s. The GM head unit was replaced with a Panasonic eight-disc CD changer and a Panasonic DVD/navigation/TV system, both of which are hooked into a Panasonic audio/video processor located behind the passenger seat. Though the LAPD installed all of the C5’s performance parts, they opted to leave the electronics installation to Lester Czanik and the other ICE pros at Al & Ed’s Autosound in Thousand Oaks, California. Probably a smart move, considering how complex the system is.

While the DVD system attracts a lot of attention in the cockpit (other drivers in traffic tend to crane out their windows to see what’s on Shawn’s screen, he told us), other interior accessories include the Millennium Yellow dash kit and waterfall, an NR Automotive white-face gauge kit, custom floor mats from Lloyd Designs, and Wet Okole covers on the stock seats. Because he autocrosses, Shawn also added Crow Enterprises five-point harnesses, mounted to a Brey-Krause harness bar, and an Amerex fire extinguisher, also set into a Brey-Krause mount. And to capture all of the in-car action while Shawn slices through the cones, he recently added a Sony video camera on a Brey-Krause camera mount between the seats.

As we said, this car has a lot going on, both inside and out. Where do you weigh in on Shawn’s question? Too much? Or can you ever have too much of a good thing in a Corvette? Go to the Forums at and let us know what you think of the Code 3 C5.



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